Activists forced the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain to cancel a speech Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela planned to give at the Autonomous University of Madrid on Dec. 1.
The Spanish radio network, COPE, criticized the “aggressive secularism” of such activists in an editorial on its website.
Cardinal Rouco was scheduled to give a lecture titled, “The God who is unknown to 21st century Spaniards.” However, several days ago activist groups began calling for the event to be disrupted. The Spanish government said it could not guarantee the cardinal’s security, and Church officials therefore decided to cancel the speech.
“What happened here is another example of the cultural paradigm that seeks to impose aggressive secularism,” the editorial stated, while denouncing the activists' “efforts to silence anyone who would speak of God and the meaning of man’s existence.”
“And there is the added irony that freedom and truth have become a nuisance at the place which is supposed to be the pillar of knowledge – the university,” the editorial continued.
Because of these threats, COPE said, students will not hear the cardinal speak “about ‘the God who is unknown’ to the Spaniards of our day, like St. Paul did at the Areopagus of Athens.”
“The difference is that while 2,000 years ago, St. Paul could freely speak of the ‘unknown God,’ now an entire democratic system has caved in to the threats of violence, refusing to guarantee freedom and order on the university campus,” COPE stated.
The editorial also criticized the Spanish government for its unwillingness to “defend the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution,” and university officials “who also have done nothing to defend their own students.”